As someone who has done it, I can tell you that:
Yes no icefall.
The route from high camp at 8300 meters to summit...only a few places more than one person wide. Congestion is all about when you choose to go, meaning wait to avoid crowds. The route is narrow as hell in some places.
Summit day is longer. The route to summit is several kilometers long, much longer than the south route so you are above 800m longer. And you have the "steps".
The south route is steeper.
From those who I know who have done both sides, they report that in the end the route to summit from each high camp really is about the same.